So, I’m no expert when it comes to Memphis, but I have lived here for about eight months and believe a lot of people are missing out on a great city.
1. First off, the National Civil Rights Museum is located right downtown and takes visitors through five centuries of history. Not to mention, the museum is housed in the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his final hours.
2. There’s also Graceland — the mansion Elvis Presley called home and the second-most visited home in the US. You have to see the decor to believe it, tbh.
3. Speaking of Elvis, you can visit Sun Studio where he and other music legends such as B.B. King, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded.
4. And if that’s not enough music history for ya, you should also visit Stax Records, where both Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes recorded.
5. Right across the street from Stax is a really neat place called Memphis Rox, a state-of-the-art climbing facility with bouldering, 45-foot walls, and an incredibly nice staff.
6. If you’re one of those people who like to visit local breweries everywhere you go, Memphis has some great ones. Wiseacre is my personal fave!
7. You can’t visit Memphis without stopping for a drink and some live music on the iconic Beale Street.
8. Also on Beale Street? FedEx Forum: Home of the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s a nice arena, the team is good, and I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $10 for a ticket.
Oh, and can your mascot do this?
9. If you’re not a sports person, catch a show at the historic Orpheum theater instead. It’s not even a 10 minute walk from FedEx Forum!
10. Another Memphis Must is a visit to the historic Peabody Hotel to catch The Peabody Ducks waddle the red carpet. I know how silly that sounds, but the first time I saw those little ducks march their way to the fountain I understood the hype.
11. Not excited by ducks? How about buffalo? Shelby Farms is one of the largest urban parks in the country and has its very own herd of buffalo.
12. You probably won’t expect this, but one of the world’s largest pyramids is located in Memphis… and it’s a Bass Pro Shops. So, if that’s not a bucket list item, I don’t know what is.
13. There’s an observation deck at The Pyramid, but my favorite view of Memphis is from the Big River Crossing. It’s a one-mile pedestrian bridge that crosses the Mississippi River. You can literally walk into Arkansas!
14. Truth be told, I’m a vegetarian. But this would be a terrible Memphis bucket list post if Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken wasn’t on it. Their fried chicken is considered some of the best and the line outside that place every day proves it.
15. Also, for any BBQ lovers, there are many locations around Memphis worth your time. However, why not take it to the next level and check out the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest held each May in downtown Memphis?
16. In general, you should visit Memphis in May. Every weekend there’s something exciting going on, including the Beale Street Music Festival.
17. I’d say those are all the big-ticket bucket list items in Memphis, but on a less specific note you should check out Cooper-Young, Overton Square, Mud Island, South Main, Crosstown Concourse, and the Broad Avenue Arts District for more to do, see, eat and drink!